Although many families desire to care for aging loved ones at home, at times the type of care required is beyond what a family can provide. In such situations, many resort to private long-term care providers, such as nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
Ideally, this decision is made with the valid expectation that a loved one would receive specialized care with trained employees that are attentive to the needs of their residents. However, what happens when such institutions neglect or abuse those in their care?
Surveys showed that up to 44% of nursing home residents have been abused at some point and 95% of them has seen another resident being abused or neglected.
Such statistics are disturbing, and here, at the O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm, we take elder abuse matters very seriously. We are prepared to represent you or your family in the fight against these practices.
Nursing home abuse is a serious concern. Studies have revealed that the elderly who suffer from abuse present a 300% higher risk of death compared to those who do not. To make matters worse, most victims are afraid or unwilling to talk about their experience, as such, it is vital that others know how to look for the signs of abuse:
Signs of Abuse to Look for
- Bruising, cuts or any other type of wounds
- Broken bones or fractures
- Refusal to eat or take medication
- Signs of dehydration
- Sudden weight loss
- Mood swings and signs of emotional distress
- Careless physical appearance
If you are aware of any of these warning signs when visiting a loved one in a care home within California you should immediately report your concerns to the facility’s management.
If the signs of abuse persist please contact an experienced personal injury attorney such as those at the O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm. It has been discovered that in many cases management was aware of the abuse that was going on in their facility. Whether they neglected to take action or simply decided to take no action, such gross negligence is unwarranted.
Please note: if a patient has died and evidence points to the cause being negligence or abuse, call the O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm and we can help you in seeking justice. Those who have filed a wrongful death lawsuit in such heartbreaking circumstances have felt some satisfaction in the knowledge that doing so helps raise awareness of this widespread issue.
Nursing Home Abuse Causes
Abuse or neglect at a nursing home can be the result of many factors:
- Understaffing. Not having enough staff members can create stressful conditions for caregivers, a situation that pushes them to unload their frustrations onto those under their supervision. In addition, with a shortage of staff, workers have a shortage of time. Even the most well intended staff members may not be able to give the attention required for those in their care.
- Lack of training. Caregivers in a nursing home are required to be properly trained. Sometimes nursing facilities overlook this aspect which leads to having unqualified staff members that cannot take care of the residents’ needs properly.
- Underpaid staff. Many staff members in a nursing home feel that they are underpaid and therefore, undervalued for their work. This dilemma can lead to a lack of motivation which can directly effect their work ethics.
- Lack of management. If the nursing home does not have the right management and supervision then standards and mandatory procedures can be overlooked, which leads to carelessness and neglect.
Where to Seek Help
The O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm is an experienced law firm specialized in personal injury law.
If you suspect that one of your loved ones has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, or even worse, if they lost their lives as a result of negligence or abuse, please do not hesitate to contact our Elk Grove law office.